QMy 10-year-old spaniel was very stiff after a day’s beating this season. My wife says I shouldn’t take him next year, but our puppy won’t be ready for the start of next season. Is there anything I can give him to help?

AVICKY PAYNE replies: Your dog probably has some arthritis as a result of the wear and tear of being a spaniel! Take him to your vet for a thorough check up so they can assess how bad the problem is. Early arthritic pain can be controlled with joint supplements or injections which help with cartilage and joint fluid. Later cases may require anti-inflammatory drugs, but many safe and affordable options are available. Some vets may also recommend herbal medicines, massage or acupuncture to help. Help your dog be ready for next season by keeping him fit and trim during the summer. Once the season starts see how he gets on, try to rest him on some drives and consider a coat to keep him warm between drives. And keep training the puppy!